Apple's Spring Forward event saw the launch of a new MacBook that greatly departs from the typical image of a notebook, the launch of iOS 8.2, and most importantly, the announcement of several details about the upcoming Apple Watch. Apple revealed the Apple Watch at their October event last year, but several things about it have remained a mystery until today. 

While Apple showed off some of the Apple Watch's abilities at their earlier event, their demos from today went more in depth. Apple made note of the fact that the watch is accurate to within 50ms of UTC, which is probably a higher level of accuracy than most people will ever need, but it may increase appeal to those who value the accuracy of their watch. Apple also demonstrated its communication abilities, and showed how users can communicate using pictures drawn on the watch, voice dictated messages, audio recordings, and their heartbeat. 

The role of third party developers in expanding the abilities of Apple Watch was also highly emphasized. Apple demoed an app from CNN that reports headlines to users, and also made note of the availability of an Uber application.

There have also been several questions unrelated to the Apple Watch's software and abilities. The biggest area of concern up until this point has been battery life. The battery capacity for wearable devices is almost always constrained due to the limited space available. There has been a great deal of speculation about whether or not the Apple Watch will last through an entire day, and whether it will need to be charged every night like a smartphone is. At the event, Apple revealed that the expected battery life for the Apple Watch will be somewhere in the realm of 18 hours. This means that it should last a user through the day, but that charging every night will be a necessity unless the watch has hardly been used.

Apple Watch Pricing
Pricing Apple Watch Sport Apple Watch Apple Watch Edition
38mm Low $349 $549 $10,000
38mm High $349 $1040 $17,000
42mm Low $399 $599 $12,000
42mm High $399 $1099 $15,000

The second big question was about pricing. Apple Watch is by far Apple's most customizable product to date, and the number of combinations of bands and models and sizes is enormous. Because of this, Apple only provided price ranges for each model. At the October event the starting price for the Sport model was revealed to be $349, and this has not changed. That price is for the 38mm size, while the 42mm size bumps the price up to $399. The steel and sapphire Apple Watch will start at $549, and go all the way to $1099 for the most expensive model which is the 42mm body and the link bracelet. Finally, the Apple Watch Edition starts at $10,000, and goes up to $17,000 for the models with the red leather band and gold buckle. All of the bands are also available for purchase separately, and so users can outfit the Apple Watch Sport with a nicer band than the fluoroelastomer one it comes with. The pricing for the bands ranges from $50 to $500, and you can take a look at all of them on Apple's website.

The final question is obviously about availability. The Apple Watch will be available for pre-order on April 10 in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US.  Users can also make appointments at select Apple Stores to preview and try on the watch.

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  • ats - Monday, March 9, 2015 - link

    No, they aren't works of art, mechanical marvels handmade by experienced craftsmen, etc. They are also all marketing. Rolex and Patek Phillippe are super complex mechanical devices, and the only reason they are worth any money is marketing, pure marketing.

    Seriously, most Patek Phillippe and Rolex watches aren't even competitive with high jewel watches throughout history, and there is nothing cool, advanced, or awesome about a mechanical jewel watch, esp today. They keep horrible time and always will. They are at best a fashion accessory for old folks.
  • Spoony - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - link

    I would argue that the Apple Watch is a work of art in the same sense that a Rolex is. How do you define that anyways? For a Rolex I would surmise you mean the manufacturing and assembly process. Apple Watch is a sublime demonstration of the best end-to-end manufacturing money can buy. If you think high end watches are better manufactured than an Apple Watch, you would be surprised. Apple is using more expensive mills, tighter tolerances, better procedures, better alloys. Apple Watch has no moving parts, it is more accurate and has a longer life between services. Except you get essentially that same level of fit and finish for $349 or for $17,000. So in that sense it is interestingly democratizing.

    I don't want an Apple Watch today, perhaps not next year, perhaps never. Maybe it will flop entirely. However, comparing it to Swiss automatic movement watches is not cut and dry on any vector.
  • milleron - Monday, March 9, 2015 - link

    This is the first time that Apple has ever priced me out of any of their products. I have a MBPr, iMac 5K, iPhone 6 Plus, as well as slightly older Minis and iPods. I've always realized that these Apple products were pricey, although not out of line with their direct competitors. The Apple Watch, however, would seem to cost twice as much as I'd be willing to pay for this functionality. It'll be interesting to see how sales go.
  • r3loaded - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - link

    Yeah, Apple products have historically been high priced, but always within reach of the middle-class consumer. This though is uncomfortable even for the comfortably well-off and insane for the rest of us.
  • limpy - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - link

    The Apple watches are crap I suppose. First you need an iPhone to pair it to get access the 'smart' things. Second, battery is crap too. I think it needs some kind of energy recovery system to charge the battery (e.g. using the wrist pulse to generate induction power, similar to wireless charging or NFC). Overall, I see these smart watches as just marketing tools for Apple to suck more money from their brainwashed followers.
  • crispbp04 - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - link

    a $15,000 watch with a 6 month product lifecycle. Time to buy AAPL! People will be taking out 2nd and 3rd mortgages just to keep up with the times.
  • BittenRottenApple - Friday, March 13, 2015 - link

    What a big surprise. There is nothing that can be done with a useless product. The Apple watch has only one purpose, to suck stupid Apple drones into handing more money to the evil empire.
  • BittenRottenApple - Friday, March 13, 2015 - link

    Source and Copyright:

    >>>>More Malware

    Jobs' Mob has decided that the only way that punters will buy their nearly useless iWatch is if they are forced to watch adverts for the thing.

    This morning iPhone users woke up to receive and undeletable advert for the iWatch and applications they didn't need forced on them. Now most Apple fanboys were overjoyed that Apple was paying them some attention, but others were less happy.

    iOS 8.2 adds in the companion app for the Apple Watch, which Apple talked about in its event on Monday. The app is useful if you have an Apple Watch, as it lets you pair the device with your iPhone. However no one has an iWatch, and no one with any common sense would buy one.

    So the Apple Watch app is pretty much just an ad for the watch that you can't delete. It has a bunch of videos showcasing what the Apple Watch can do, and lets you know when you can pre-order one.

    There are a large number of tweets from outraged iPhone owners. We guess that Apple has not learned from the time that it forced people to download and listen to U2's latest album, that you should not force people to download things they don't want.

    Either that or it is sheer arrogance and stupidity that Apple really does believe that people want to pay $350+ for a device which means they don't have to take their iPhone out of their pocket (but still have to carry it).

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